EP 866 Expanding Palates with Greek Wines

Gary Vaynerchuk tastes 3 different Greek wines with Markus Stolz, a “Greek wine insider” and talk about the wine scene in Greece.

Wines tasted in this episode:

2009 Tetramythos Malagousia
2008 Nostos Alexandra’s
2007 Uranos Xinomavro play

Links mentioned in todays episode.

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luca bercelli


line of the day – ‘If you’re watching this in 2030 – can you believe how many Superbowls the Jets have won?’

I just love Germans when they speak English. The accent sounds funny to me. And a German speaking perfect Greek. A rarity and obviously a good guy

Tags: Greek, red, review, Video, white, wine, wines

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  • or export the wine so they can get some money!!!!

  • Richie

    Great episode again!

  • Have had some wines from Greece. Skouras, Amethystos, NΓ³tios Agiorgitiko,
    Eurpoean union do support the farmers in a big way, is that the reason of increasing numbers of greek winemakers? Thats would be a bad thing, especially if the export only 10%.

    QOTD: don't have twitte. And as for Gary expanding the palates of any person I'll go for the Xinomavro and start creating a situation where I (Gary) is the biggest retailer of that grape in US.

    BTW: Markus, try with Sweden too. We do have a state monopoly, but they do carry about 50 different greek wines, but thats maybe 15 producers. 785 to go πŸ™‚

  • No, the retsina used to be a household wine stored in skin bags (sheep) or amophoras and to stop them from leaking they insulated the seems and caps with resin. Hence it tasted diffently, that method of flaouvoring the wine is still in use.

  • plcb

    QOTD: In my store my customers would most likely buy Malagousia. Porch sipper, summer quaffer. At Christmas time is when customers would splurge for a highly rated xinomavro. Christmas time shoppers look for critic scores instead of trusting their palates.

    In the early 1990's as a novice wine drinker, I enjoyed Greek wines by the glass at a restaurant in center city Philadelphia. I cannot remember the name of the restaurant as it's not there now. It was near the orchestra concerts. They had a white lasagna. That's what I remember.

  • DAveAll

    GREAT SHOW! if 10% are exported, I want to go to Greece. haha. Good guest, love them Germans, very clear and logical.

    QOTDs: I am not a twit. If i were Gary, I'd ensure I had Greek wines in my inventory. and… I drink the rest of that third wine bottle. completely.

  • lawrenceleichtman

    None of these seem to be currently available in the US so I'm not sure why the push here. Do we assume that WL is going to start carrying some of these. None of these wines were on any wine lists the last time I was in Greece but that was 12 years ago and many of them are new producers. If there is enough availability, I would definitely try the last two.

  • Uranos by Thimiopoulos is available in the US (number 3), the Nostos Alexandra's also in some states (number 2), the Tetramythos Malagousia (number 1) might come in autumn. 12 years is a long time, hope you'll visit Greece again πŸ˜‰

  • WOW, Greek wines…who would have ever thought, I want to expand my palate!

    QOTD: http://www.twitter.com/derek7877

  • K is for Kate

    QOTD: Were I Gary, I would most definitely start carrying those wines because I would know that I have my loyal Vayniacs trained to salivate at the thought of trying different varieties of grapes and wines from different regions!

    Unfortunately, I'm not Gary, so I'm just sitting here salivating and wishing I could try those last two right now.

  • sadelekmeiro

    Hi, good show! my twitter name @cooknwine . If i was Gary I will definitely choose the best of the three wines to sell @ winelibrary (a short american nickname for the wine may help πŸ˜‰ and I will make it the recommended wine of the week to promote it .. at the end of the day the the whole idea is expand your pallet .. Love you guys !

  • Randall

    Whiskey Lullaby w/Alison Krauss!!

  • Interesting to think that we could be finding some new varietals of grapes coming to the market in 2010. My mind is already saying “what could we grow here in California?”

    QOTD: @coledavid , if I was Gary I would play it safe, take the best red, ask for an exclusive and sell the shit out of it!…:-)

  • lawrenceleichtman

    I have received a comment that several of these wines are indeed available in the US. Any idea what states have them? I live in New Mexico and except from Internet shipping as from WL may not have access. Our local stores in Santa Fe have a large selection of wines but not much Greek wine. Greece is on our itinerary for next year along with Italy and Dalmatian coast.

  • Love Markus' comment about Twitter. It's what I really love about it. I would never have access to so many people and at such a high level in the wine industry. I'm planning a Napa visit and have been getting the scoop from wine industry insiders and will have new found friends waiting for me at wherever I choose to go. Without twitter I doubt I'd be able to discuss Bonny Doon's Albarino and Le Cigare Volant with Randall Graham himself.

  • i am in the importer for the Thimiopoulos Uranos 2007, Athenee Importers in Hensptead NY. It is currently avaiablle in the US. under the label that you saw online. You can follw me @atheneewines on Twitter or visit http://www.atheneeimporters.com.

  • Ugh, viddler acting up again….

    QOTD: http://twitter.com/palatematch

    Inspired to find some more Greek wine. Keep lowering that Euro vs. Dollar…

  • Vinay


  • Nice to put a face to the @elloinos name – you possibly know me as @KSLaczko or maybe as my aka @ReignofTerroir. Good show (my first for a while) – but no Santorini Assyrtiko?

  • binarycache


  • Thanks Karl – well, one of the few Greek wines tasted before on WLTV was an Assyrtico from Santorini, I believe it was in the episode with Jancis Robinson. So I thought I should opt for something different…

  • Dear Gary just to let you know about an all Greek wine site the sells online and ships worldwide.It is called Iama wine Store .Have a look and tell me what you think.

    Benjamin Deneke

  • johnbudd

    Great episode Gary, interesting and another good guest.

    I Always like to see shows featuring lesser known regions and obscure grape varieties. Also good to see you getting excited after giving that second wine a sniffy-sniff… that's what it's all about!!

    QOTD: Not sure how much Greek wine Gary stocks, but I think it's an area worth representing in a big store, and those reds in particular sound both tasty and thought provoking. Good stuff. @john_budd

    p.s. Maybe some English wine soon GV…..??

  • Excellent showing Markus!
    Kudos to you for knowing your palate and promoting the wines that you believe in.
    Thanks for the introduction…I have no name recollection of the couple of Greek reds that I have had, and a couple of Assytyrko, but not much beyond that.
    I understand where folks get the Bruce Willis likeness from, but I'm thinking more Max Von Sydow from Bergman's The Seventh Seal

    QOTD1: still just watching
    QOTD2: #2 and #3 both sound very interesting

  • JayZee13

    Very interesting show. I've had some Greek wines, but certainly not very many. The varietal names are rather hard to pronounce, but I have had a couple of Agiorgitiko wines that were rather nice.

    QOTD: I think all of the wines today have their place based on the descriptions by Gary. The last one sounded the most appealing to me, but I would try them all, given the opportunity.

  • Mike in C-town

    Interesting that I have a bottle of Skouras Moscofilero in the fridge for the weekend. I've heard about whites for a little while, but just found a out about the reds.
    Greek wines could be “next big thing” but many factors in play (names, Greek economy, only 10% exported).
    No Twitter.
    QOTD: If I were Gary, I would be sticking some of these into secret packs and in the multi-pack deals at Cindy.

  • Mike, what white do you have you in your fridge? Really curious, Skouras is one of the few producers in Greece that manages to have rock solid quality in both “basic” and “premium” wines – always extracting the pure fruit components.

  • Mike in C-town

    It's the 2008 Moscofilero Peloponnese. It also has some signature on the right side. I got it from a friend, but it retailed for about $16.

  • Thanks Mike , this wine runs under a different name in Europe – it is certainly one of the better Moschofileros produced.

  • late_start

    Just returned from greece for my honeymoon, and really enjoyed Greek Wines and in particular Xinomavro and Agiorgitik.


  • Jason, congrats – where did you go? Glad you liked the red grape varietals!

  • laurieinvt

    Nice, informative episode- thanks Markus, Gary, and Mott!
    It's @laurie_e but I haven't been on in almost a year. Mostly I use Facebook.
    QOTD: The Malagousia and the Xinomavro, to provide both a 'porch' wine and an elegant wine to have with guests or give as a gift.

  • Nik_B

    Great guest – there were some really interesting points in the episode.

    Definitely keen to try some Greek wines.. but I think I've only less than a handful in the UK so far.

  • Awesome! thanks for giving Greece the spotlight. I've been a fan of Greek wines for quite a few years now. I'd always put a Greek wine on the by-the-glass list at the wine bar where I used to work. I teach a class about Italian wines to my community and am considering proposing one on Greek wines – I already have interest. Markus, it would be great to keep in touch so if you have any luck in California I can find your wines. Also if I can help in some way, let me know. I'm on FB not Twitter. πŸ™‚ thanks again!

  • Marcella, great to hear that you are a fan of Greek wines! I found you on FB and connected there, would love to stay in touch!

  • Lvine

    Fascinating show! I will definitely seek out some greek wines…I just wonder if there are actually any good ones being sold in Minnesota??

    Markus – I really enjoyed your story. I'm currently starting up a Minnesota based wine import and wholesale company focused initially on wines from Chile. I will keep your name in mind for when we're ready to expand to other countries like Greece. Good luck to you with all your wine endeavours!

  • Good luck with your new business, and thanks so much for commenting!

  • Weston3220

    love the german guest the best shows always!
    qotd: I think from Gary's response the 3rd wine would sell the best, but I guess it depends on the staff of the store if they taste and can upsell, If he could talk about the wine he was selling he could sell it.

  • ErieWineGuy

    Just a fantastic, interesting show! Markus has an honest integrity to him.

    Greek wines – Markus sold me. I will now passionately seek out Greek wines!

    Thanks Gary, thanks Markus, great show.

  • Thank you – it is so great to get feedback like this. I really hope you'll be able to find some Greek wines to try! That's really all I wanted to achieve, raise awareness about the wines from Greece. The fact that you wish to seek them out is a huge compliment – cheers!

  • jacqueline51

    Hey Gary,
    Jacqueline here from Toronto. It's been a while but I must say that I am thrilled to see your show on greek wines.

    I was at a greek wine tasting last month and let me tell you I was blown away. We tasted four grapes varieties. Moschofilero and Assyrtiko for the whites and Agiorgitiko and Xinomavro for the reds.

    We had four flights of five wines each. The first three wines of each flight were the greek varietals and the fourth and fifth wines were international varieties. We tasted the flights blind so although we knew the greek varietals we did not know what the international varietals were. The object was to show that greek wines have flavour profiles and styles of european wines.

    The whites ranged in profile from similar to riesling, gewurtztraminer, pinot grigio, gruner vetliner, chablis. The reds were similar to Riojas, southern France, Italy, Burgundy. Vast and varied! All were exceptional wines. No they definitely were not bombastic blow your head off oak monsters. Yes they most assuredly were delicate, finesse, sublte, nuance, full body. They were lower in alcohol……to be read normal alcohol levels! They were old world styling. Delightful! You weren't full after one glass.

    Hey Markus just a thought, I'd like to suggest you try promoting your wines this way. It really showcased the wines quite well and took the fear factor away. It put the pre-conceived notions about greek wines to bed if you know what I mean.

    What I love about this show is that a german man is promoting greek wines. What do I mean by that? I always tell people in Toronto that once you've had a german wine in particular rieslings you'll be sorry you waited so long to try them. I equate the german font and script stylings with the greek font and script styling. They are pretty intimidating and not very inviting to make you want to try. Once you know how to pronounce what seems unpronouncable……xinomavro…….it's not so scary to venture into.

    So koodos to you Markus and to you Gary. Markus if you'd like more info I'd be more than happy to help you out. Hey Gary, my suggestion to you is to stock up on these wines because they are the next best thing!!!

    My challenge to the vanyiaks……why not give your palate a change this summer and try wines like the greek varietals, like roses (as in rosays-sorry don't have a french font). Real men do drink rose! Try a greek one!!

    Hey Gary one more thing…..how about having a female vanyiak on………I have a suggestion…..ME!

    Cheers everyone!

  • Hi Jacqueline, thank you for your great comments! The idea to present Greek wines alongside international grape varieties is certainly smart. It is great that you share your observations about this tasting event.

    I love your enthusiasm – would love to stay in touch, email me anytime mstolz at elloinos.com. Oh, and you are spot on with your suggestion on Greek roses – you rock!

  • jsums

    Fun show. Living in Astoria, I've really been getting into Greek wines as they are widely available here. It was really a revelation to me how high the quality was across the board and how approachable the pricepoints were. I've already been pouring through quite a few Assyrtiko and Malagousia this Spring…especially the Assyrtiko from Santorini. Good god, they're amazing. My friends love them! QOTD – I want to get my hands on that Xinomavro. While I've tasted many Agiorgitiko, I've only had one Xinomavro so far…

  • ewb

    Very interesting episode. I am sold. A Greek wine purchase has been on my radar for a while. Pretty sure my local store has a few to select from. I will be looking for a red.

  • RobinC

    My imagination is not fertile enough to pretend to be Gary Vaynerchuk, and I'm not in the wine business, but as a simple consumer I feel that once you've got a good wine, if you're trying to sell it to a lot of people, you need to be friendly and approachable. I'll just say that when I was in Greece, those Greek street signs were intimidating and scary for me. I think it's important to retain your Greek identity, but I like the labels that I can read.

  • Robin, I agree that everyone should be friendly and approachable, this is certainly not limited to selling wines. As for the scary roadsigns in Greece…they do translate them into Latin characters, just the spelling can be off πŸ™‚ Joking apart, of course you do raise a valid point. But I also know that things are moving in that direction, just look at the labels of the three wines I presented – all are perfectly readable in English while presenting their identity.

  • I hope you will share your tasting experience of the Xinomavro with us – the producer is Thimiopoulos, the name of the wine “Uranos”. I don't want to confuse, but the name in Europe is “Ghi kai Uranos” which is Greek for “Earth and Sky”.

  • Good choice to keep a lookout for a red – in the U.S. the whites dominate, personally I feel that a lot of reds (certainly good Agiorgitikos and Xinomavros) have as much to bring to the table.

  • jsums

    Thank you so much! I'll see if I can track it down locally.

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